herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

HE may have hung up his boots over a decade ago, but football legend Niall Quinn is still all about team spirit.

HE may have hung up his boots over a decade ago, but football legend Niall Quinn is still all about team spirit.

The former Ireland striker (48) stayed true to his Dublin roots as he launched the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards.

Joined by members of the Diamond Twirlers, Age Action, Clondalkin Gymnastics, Liffey Celtic Basketball Club and Bay City Boxing Club, the successful businessman urged for community groups in the greater Dublin area to apply for the awards, an initiative started in 2004.

Any voluntary group located within the area Dublin Bus services operate is eligible to apply for a grant of €1,000, €2,000 or €5,000.

"I have seen the difference these grants have made to local community groups and their members, young and old," Quinn said.

"From musical equipment to building repairs the awards have provided crucial help to these communities and I hope every voluntary group in Dublin applies."

The funding for the grants comes from change left unclaimed when Dublin Bus customers overpay their fare.

Dublin Bus CEO Paddy Doherty added that the awards programme is a way of giving back to the communities serviced by the public transport body.

He said, "The only initiative of its kind in Ireland we are proud that it has gone from strength to strength over the last eleven years and Dublin Bus along with the help of Dubliners is putting long-term unclaimed change to good use in communities across the city.

"Dublin commuters support us very day as they join us on Dublin Bus routes and we want to help support the communities we service.

"The Community Spirit Awards help Dublin Bus customers give back to their own communities and support community groups that strive to improve their local areas as well as lives of local families," he added.

Last year 86 different voluntary groups in the Dublin area were awarded with funds, including charities such as Age Action, Nuture and The Laura Brennan Charitable Trust.

Other organisations that benefited from the scheme include disability groups, community development projects, youth clubs and sporting clubs.

Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards application forms are available from www.dublinbus.ie/csiapplication

Over 1,800 voluntary groups have been awarded over the 11 years of the programme.

Closing date for entries is May 29, with successful applicants being notified by Dublin Bus from August onwards.

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